It comes as no surprise that the stone on the island of Brač shares the name as this very unique cake. Hrapoćuša (say huh-rap-choose-sa) can be seen all around the village of Dol – all over the landscape, its stairs, drywalls and most of its buildings.
As for the cake, its original maker – whoever that may have been – designed its top to resemble hrapoćuša stone in its natural, weathered state.
Had it not been for the illustrated recipe cards I was sent from my fellow foodie over in Vukovar, Croatia, it may have been a while before I got the chance to taste this cake myself. And what makes it extra special is the cake is listed by Croatia’s Ministry of Culture as protected intangible heritage.
Perhaps it’s also due to it being known as Brač’s ‘sweet aphrodisiac.’
Now, allow me to tell you what’s involved with this cake that so happens to weigh 2½ kg (5½ pounds) and contain 14 eggs. Well, this particular recipe does, anyway.
Basically what we have is two very distinct layers. The bottom is a dense sponge made up of all the egg yolks, some of the whites, flour, walnuts and a bunch of other things.
The top layer is walnuts, sugar and the majority of the egg whites – all cooked in a pan until its similar to nougat – then slapped onto the pre-cooked base. It’s all cooked a little more at a lower temperature until they both fuse together and brown up just like the stone that’s endemic to the village of Dol, on Brač island.
The addition of fresh figs is my contribution, as is the vanilla and lemon zest in the topping, but the rest lies close to what you’d expect to see in Brač.
It freezes and defrosts well, just in case there aren’t enough hungry mouths to sweeten up. And another thing – the cake can be left at room temperature for almost a week without affecting its taste or composition. There’s so much packed in there that it takes a while to deteriorate.